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Veteran member donates 1 million yuan to Party

2024-07-03 10:18:13China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Days before July 1, when the Communist Party of China celebrated the 103rd anniversary of its founding, 97-year-old veteran CPC member Hao Jiarun donated 1 million yuan ($138,000), almost all his lifetime savings, to the Party.

"The country needs money in many ways when it's on a path to become more prosperous," he said. "While I'm still alive, I want to hand over my remaining money to the Party, the country and the people."

Hao joined the army at 15 and became a CPC member at 16.

"The Party has allowed me to have an abundant life," he said.

"I have nothing to worry about at this age. By giving back the money to the Party organization and the country, I merely did what a common CPC member should do."

Hao, originally from Yantai, Shandong province, lives in Shanghai. He transferred the donation to a grassroots Party organization in the form of special Party dues.

His home in Shanghai's Hongkou district has been sparsely furnished for decades. It only contains a few basic pieces of furniture, and his bedding and clothes are patched.

Some old photos and medallions in the apartment suggest that Hao was a battle-hardened army veteran.

From joining the army to retirement, he participated in many campaigns. They included the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), the War of Liberation (1946-49) and the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53).

Recalling those difficult years, Hao did not mention his own hardships, but talked about the care given by the Party organization.

"Life at the revolutionary base areas was hard, but the senior comrades always gave relatively good food, such as sweet potatoes and porridge, to young soldiers like us," he said.

"On chilly days, they wore only thin clothes, and gave the thicker ones to us. They brought us up like brothers."

After 1949, he was relocated to the Xizang autonomous region and the provinces of Sichuan and Jiangsu for work. He answered the Party's call every time.

All those decades of experience formed his habit of living a simple — almost impoverished — way of life. He has a fairly low desire for material goods, and each time he finishes reading the newspaper, he asks his children to take it away and read it.

"My father is demanding of himself in terms of both working hard and being frugal in life," said his son, Hao Sijun.

"He taught us more often by his behavior rather than words. For the most important family reunions of the year, he would suggest very simple food."

He said that his father's intention of donating the money was first mentioned early this year, after learning that an earthquake had hit the Linxia Hui autonomous prefecture in Gansu province.

"My father told us that he felt he couldn't work for the country anymore or do anything to help," Hao Sijun said. "So the idea of helping others through the donation came to his mind.

"Also, I believe such a donation was my mother's last wish (before she died in 2016). My parents had donated to disaster relief and poverty alleviation multiple times, and had funded children in need over the past decades. In 2010, they decided to donate their bodies after death."

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